How to make a One Man Band Workstation with IOS Apps...

How to make a One Man Band Workstation with IOS apps?

As requested by several users interested in creating an IOS Arranger Style Workstation.

When making a “Song “ my usual basic bones of a song compose of:

  1. Drums
  2. Bass
  3. Synth Pads as the backing
  4. Melody or leads Synth

To be able to get this going to will need the following apps:

  1. AudioBus 3
  2. Navichord
  3. iBassist
  4. Lumbeats Drum Apps (Any will do).
  5. Any favorite Synths
  6. AUM

Many here might not be interested, but if there are times you feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of time it takes to create a Drum track, Bass Track, or even make everything sound cohesive and pro sounding, then you might be a little interested in this thread.

You might learn how you can get your “Song” creativity going instead of making endless loops which never go anywhere.

You might be able to, in a sense, just hit “Play” and let all the Virtual midi Musicians make music with you as you guide them all in realtime as to what “Chords” to play.

Is it perfect? Nope. Complete? Nope. I still believe more can be done but because of AudioBus 3, Lumbeats iBassist and all their Drum Apps, AUM and the sheer amount of Synth apps available, we are now so close to having an IOS Arranger Style Workstation that is solid and stable to Jam, Record and or compose in realtime!

Even better, we now also have the ability to record all the realtime playing via midi into amazing apps such as Xequence, Cubasis Photon,or the DAW of your choice.

As posted in another thread:

Here’s a short video clip of Navichord’s amazing Song Mode and realtime chord progression entry. All hosted in AudioBus 3.

Navichord’s channel one “Voice 1” is sending midi Bass chord data to iBassist via midi channel 1.

iBassist is in Live Midi-in Mode. Although iBassist’s Live Pads are loaded up, Navichord’s Song Mode allows me to free up my hands to switch Live Pads, although I’d prefer to do it via Midi program change, this is currently only a workaround.

Navichord is also sending the Midi chord progression data to Z3TA Synth via midi Channel 3 in AB3.

Navichord is also sending Lead Pad midi data via channel 4 to Addictive Synth Pro AU in AB3.

Drums are being handled by faithfull Rock Drummer!

Hope this short video reveals the amazing potential these apps have to create backing songs in a matter of minutes and not weeks.

I thank Dennis @Navichord for such an amazing app, And our dear Michael @Michael for AudioBus3 and @LuisMartinez for all his incredibly powerful apps! These are virtual musicians ready rock nonstop!

Also, please excuse the poor video arrangement as I’m not quite good at video editing and it was hard to align the music with video but hope it gets the message across.

Any comments are welcome.
Video Link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ea2igxl11te6ynl/AB3OMBPRESET-MM4C.mov?dl=0

AB3 preset to follow later.

Thanks for any and all ideas or input on how to make this setup even better.

Cheers,

Comments

  • edited March 13

    Here’s the AB3 One Man Band Preset:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/imsmj9xomiugk3r/AB3 OMB PRESET-MM4C.txt?dl=0

    I used Z3TA as my backing Synth and Addictive Synth Pro AU as my lead synth but you can replace those with your own favorites.

    Cheers!

  • edited March 13

    Hello everyone,

    In this particular video, I show how the apps in the AB3 One Man Band Preset are setup. So in the beginning of the video there’s no audio until everything is setup.

    I’m using Navichord’s Pads to make all the chord changes and playing the melody with Navichord’s keyboard all is done in a single pass in real-time!

    All was recorded in to AUM.

    For those interested in making a song real quick and lay down an idea super fast, this is a really good alternative. Especially when time is tight as it usually is.

    Imagine laying the basic structure of a song them going to AURIA, and basically add vocals, acoustic instruments and bam! Song creation simplicity. This is my workflow and it allows me time be more concentrated on the song rather than the apps.

    Any ideas, or comments welcomed.

    Video Link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/69luto41fu7fo66/AB3 OMB2-MM4C.mov?dl=0

    Cheers!

  • Thank you for documenting this particular use case.

    Korg, Yamaha, Roland and Casio sells thousands of these "Arranger Workstations" with subsequent Styles Packs.

    Windows/Mac Users have "Band in a Box" for this use case and they bleed the user into debt with dozens of add-ons at $79 or more a pop.

    Luis Martinez is the styles creator here. I'm still working through getting this configuration installed correctly. I had it working for 10 minutes and saved the AB3 and AUM configs but it never came back completely and I didn't figure out which setting I missed or if the sequence of app starts is critical to the results.

    I'll try your generously provided config file and see if I can get it working again.

    There's still a subtle line between what Navichord is doing and what iBassist can do without being fed Navichord's MIDI out that I don't fully understand. iBassist accepts MIDI controller chords in and has "progressions" but there's something Navichord is adding that makes it important if not essential for your performances. What is it? The ability to organize songs for quick recall? The splitting out of the bass/chord left hand from the live right hand melodies that bypass iBassist completely? Would a MIDI splitter before iBassist do that as well and send the upper split to the another App?

    I think I'll add a note in the FAQ thread that points the Arranger/One Man Band types towards this thread once we get all the user feedback worked out.

    It's interesting to consider that AUM is optional. I didn't get that. I was wondering what particular feature of AB3 makes it essential. I think it might be the MIDI behavior of Navichord
    using the AB3 MIDI features versus AUM's. I like to use it to make quick recordings in AUM of sessions and pass them up into SoundCloud via AudioShare to listen to critically while I walk.

    I should use this effort to finally dig into the essential details of AB3.

    I was wondering if the MIDIFlow Splitter became essential to your setup and secured AB3 in your work. Recently several new MIDI AU's have been release that do excellent MIDI Splits in AUM too. One of them uses region overlaps rather than a fixed point where the low notes stop and upper take over. The split is a blended overlapping range for notes turning the bass split down and the upper split up across a scale.

    Thanks again for making the video and config file.

  • I think about this all the time! I've been thinking of ways to also include gestrument pro! and Yamaha MMS (but its not real time)

    is anyone trying a similar desktop experiments?

  • @McD I just realized that I’m using AB3 beta. But not sure if that makes a difference. I’m going to download the AppStore version and load up my preset and see if it still works.

    Regarding AUM being optional, I meant for the purposes of getting a simple setup going with AB3, but it’s absolutely an essential app. I will remove the optional of my post because it is misleading and not fair for such an amazing Dev and app!

    Your question regarding what Navichord is doing is really that it is only sending your Bass note midi data to iBassist via midi channel 1.

    So iBassist is using that to determine what key your in at anytime and it continues to play the selected Bass pattern for as long as you stay in that particular key. It doesn’t auto generate any other nuances, but instead only the nuances that were premise within that Bass pattern. But the reason it sounds real is because iBassist was programmed to sound real, like a virtual Bassist!

    So Navichord is really just an amazing convenient app because it allows me to play the chords and melody tracks in realtime while the virtual musicians do their music! No external midi keyboard needed, so just my iPad and earphones!

    My next step is to try to record all the midi output of Navichord, iBassist, and Drummers to Cubasis.

    I had an even better setup earlier going where I was able to use the app SideCar to send midi program changes to both iBassist, and Rock Drummer and change patterns of both in realtime!!!!

    But, I couldn’t get Navichord to drive iBassist this way as enabling Live Midi In prevents you from sending midi program changes to both apps. Real bummer and I hope @LuisMartinez puts out an update for this.

    To me this is really huge because it would make the realtime One Man Band setup sound more realistic!

  • You should check out the "Chords" out capabilities in iBassist MIDI page as well. It can send out 2 chordal tracks on selectable MIDI channels (as well as a clone of the internal Bass track to another bass instrument like iFretless Bass for example.)

    The 2 chordal tracks provide on beat, off beat and other options to make some really clever accompaniments that can give a band some life with a rhythm guitar and keyboard sidemen.

    The whole note sounds in the provided video using Navichord sound less interesting to my ears. If you send the whole chord output of Navichord into iBassist it will follow the Major, Minor, 7th chord selections of the Navichord input for the autogenerated chord tracks.

  • Thank you @Tones4Christ for taking the time to post this nifty AB3 preset, video, and explanation. I replaced Z3TA with Kasper due to the system date change requirement, pressed play in AB and everything kicked in except for Addictive Pro. I’ll look into it further as time permits

    Thanks again.

  • @RubenDari said:
    I think about this all the time! I've been thinking of ways to also include gestrument pro! and Yamaha MMS (but its not real time)

    is anyone trying a similar desktop experiments?

    I haven’t got gestrent pro and I’m only on the iPhone and iPad. A long time ago I was all desktop but dreamed of being able to create a setup so portable as the one I now have. This setup allows me to make music in the go, at lunch breaks or anytime! I’m thinking of using GeoShred for guitar leads and Guitarism for guitar rhythm tracks!

  • @McD gonna try your ideas! Thanks!

  • Just tried the AB3 version on the AppStore and preset worked like a charm!

    Also, wanna have unlimited drum style variations? Use iBassist’s create drums feature! Amazing!!!

    Just figured it out, unbelievable!

  • @Tones4Christ said:
    Here’s the AB3 One Man Band Preset:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/imsmj9xomiugk3r/AB3 OMB PRESET-MM4C.txt?dl=0

    I used Z3TA as my backing Synth and Addictive Synth Pro AU as my lead synth but you can replace those with your own favorites.

    Cheers!

    You used Dropbox to share a Textfile that then contains a link to a AudioBus preset?!?
    Totally confused me.

    Here is the link directly:

    http://preset.audiob.us/ohTfKFYwsrySnsi

  • I think you might find gestrument mind blowing. (I'm just trying to understand it myself)

    @Tones4Christ said:

    @RubenDari said:
    I think about this all the time! I've been thinking of ways to also include gestrument pro! and Yamaha MMS (but its not real time)

    is anyone trying a similar desktop experiments?

    I haven’t got gestrent pro and I’m only on the iPhone and iPad. A long time ago I was all desktop but dreamed of being able to create a setup so portable as the one I now have. This setup allows me to make music in the go, at lunch breaks or anytime! I’m thinking of using GeoShred for guitar leads and Guitarism for guitar rhythm tracks!

  • So here we are almost 6 years later, and still no quallity arranger software for the ipad in sight?

  • @Bachus said:
    So here we are almost 6 years later, and still no quallity arranger software for the ipad in sight?

    We're actually only a few months later than the original post.

    I predict that quality arranger will arrive sometime this year.

  • I still didn’t find something useful but as I pointed in the other topic maybe worth a look Prime and Xmure.
    For algo bots I need to check iBassist (and the other Luis’ apps) but ATM I use Music Memos and my digitech trio+.
    About song arranging I also use GTL due it could manage song parts “groups” with 4 loops (and extra main group with 4 more) and adds the live looping mojo to the equation.

    Hope it helps someone.

  • There's also the free One Man Band app, which is meant to go with the OMB guitar but works with any controller. It's a bit of a work in progress, but worth checking out. (My OMB kit arrived yesterday, but there's a fair bit of soldering involved…)

  • @Masanga said:
    There's also the free One Man Band app, which is meant to go with the OMB guitar but works with any controller. It's a bit of a work in progress, but worth checking out. (My OMB kit arrived yesterday, but there's a fair bit of soldering involved…)

    Nice gadget. I didn't know they were going to release one Midi based... btw you made me remember another with similar name (in fact the same and the one I found when I searched in the iPhone) which maybe someone could get benefeit. There is a lite version for free...

  • @TheDubbyLabby said:

    @Masanga said:
    There's also the free One Man Band app, which is meant to go with the OMB guitar but works with any controller. It's a bit of a work in progress, but worth checking out. (My OMB kit arrived yesterday, but there's a fair bit of soldering involved…)

    Nice gadget. I didn't know they were going to release one Midi based... btw you made me remember another with similar name (in fact the same and the one I found when I searched in the iPhone) which maybe someone could get benefeit. There is a lite version for free...

    I think you are referring to one man band amp by Jos Maas ( there is all another similar named companion app for OMB guitars .. which I believe the other post refers too )

    I think you recommended this app to me ( by Jos Maas) in some other post

    I really love it .. does its job .. simple plug and play ... you can even download your own sound fonts .. as mentioned there is a lite version

    Roland sound canvas is a perfect companion
    I was able to import all Yamaha psr 970 styles into it .. without much fuss

    Only painful bit of the app... no background audio
    However you can still route.. for example Bs16i, Roland sound canvas to you favorite synths

    Xmure has a superior sound module .. but styles are limited
    Also no preset recall with all settings saves

    Ibassist was too much work and I don’t trust Audiobus presets for live playing .. always a glitch or 2 while recalling them

  • @hisdudeness said:

    @TheDubbyLabby said:

    @Masanga said:
    There's also the free One Man Band app, which is meant to go with the OMB guitar but works with any controller. It's a bit of a work in progress, but worth checking out. (My OMB kit arrived yesterday, but there's a fair bit of soldering involved…)

    Nice gadget. I didn't know they were going to release one Midi based... btw you made me remember another with similar name (in fact the same and the one I found when I searched in the iPhone) which maybe someone could get benefeit. There is a lite version for free...

    I think you are referring to one man band amp by Jos Maas ( there is all another similar named companion app for OMB guitars .. which I believe the other post refers too )

    I think you recommended this app to me ( by Jos Maas) in some other post

    I really love it .. does its job .. simple plug and play ... you can even download your own sound fonts .. as mentioned there is a lite version

    Roland sound canvas is a perfect companion
    I was able to import all Yamaha psr 970 styles into it .. without much fuss

    Only painful bit of the app... no background audio
    However you can still route.. for example Bs16i, Roland sound canvas to you favorite synths

    Xmure has a superior sound module .. but styles are limited
    Also no preset recall with all settings saves

    Ibassist was too much work and I don’t trust Audiobus presets for live playing .. always a glitch or 2 while recalling them

    Yes I know there were two different... that's why I said...

    btw you made me remember another with similar name (in fact the same and the one I found when I searched in the iPhone) which maybe someone could get benefeit. There is a lite version for free...

    so thanks for bring them since I'm too lazy to search it :joy:

    I'm agree all of these have limitations. I'm trying OMB and seems so-so coded and not sure about background audio and so. It remembers to StageLight in UI so let's hope they also are similar delivering updates and improvements. I need to try it working but I'm not sure how it works neither ATM :sweat_smile:

    In the end I recommend Prime, JamTracks (or all of these I usually also forgot) due realtime arrangers are nichey and it's easy to work with full backing tracks in real life.
    People who usually needs this kind of tools are also gigging professionals whose don't care too much about cheat/no cheat in playing terms due they usually play or sing something over these backtracks...

    Someone knows a good web page or forum for backing tracks artists? I usually talk with looping, seasoned players or full experimental but I still not found a community for soloist with backing...

  • Great thread... put it on my favorites :lol: @Tones4Christ thanks for that... Gonna study your process later. I was doing something similar, but hitting some snags regarding midi connections :wink:

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